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Washington Outlook: CAPITAL WRAPUP


The White House is beginning to take health care seriously as a political challenge. Some strategists, urging a wait-and-see approach, had hoped to put off presenting an Administration plan until after the 1992 election. But with Democrats scoring points on the issue, Budget Director Richard G. Darman is arguing that President Bush should be ready to trot out his own plan during the upcoming campaign. Now all he needs is a proposal. Darman is working with Wharton School economist Mark V. Pauly to draft one. Pauly favors a tax-based approach: Individuals, not employers, would be required to buy insurance. But low- and middle-income families would get a tax credit for their payments -- and a check from the government if the cost exceeded their tax bill.EDITED BY STEPHEN H. WILDSTROM

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